Davis Kea Wings (above)
I tōna tamarikitanga ka haere a Fiona Pardington ki te whare pupuri taonga i te taha o tōna kuia, a Dorothy. Kei te maumahara ia i ōna whakaaro i taua wā: ‘Ka mahi au hei ringa toi, ka whai au i ēnei taonga.’ Kitea ai i roto i ngā whakaahua a Pardington ngā toenga manu – he ngutu, he wheua, he huru – ka huri hei taonga, mā reira e tautoko ai te kaupapa o te tiaki i te momo tata korehāhā. Nō ngā kohinga whare pupuri taonga ētahi o ēnei manu, nō te taiao ētahi.
Ko ngā whakaahua a Pardington he whakamaumaharatanga o te wā ko Aotearoa he tino wāhi e kitea ai ngā manu. He manu māori tino manea te kea (Nestor notabilis) arā ko ia anake te kākā maunga i tēnei wā. Kitea ai i Te Waipounamu anake, e ai ki te Māori o Waitaha, ko te kea he taonga, he kaitiaki maunga. Kei te tino rata tēnei manu haututū ki te tangata, ki te motukā, ā, matemate ai i runga i ngā rori matua. I tūpono noa te ringa toi ki tētahi o aua hauata, ka kitea ēnei huruhuru muramura. Kei te whakanuia a Tāne Mahuta – te atua o te ngahere – hei matua o ngā manu, o ngā kararehe katoa e noho nei i roto i te ngahere. Ko tēnei whakaahua, e miramira ana i ngā huruhuru kārohirohi o te kea e puta mai ana i te pōuriuri ki te ao mārama, he whakaritenga ki Te Ao Mārama.
As a child, Fiona Pardington experienced museum collections with her grandmother Dorothy. She remembers thinking: ‘I am going to be an artist and pursue these objects.’ In Pardington’s photographs the remains of birds often appear – their beaks, bones and feathers – and become taonga (treasures) while endorsing the conservation of endangered species. Some of these birds are from museum collections, others she finds out in the world.
Pardington’s photographs remind us that New Zealand was once the world’s pre-eminent place for birdlife. The highly intelligent native kea (Nestor notabilis) is the only known alpine parrot. Found now exclusively in the South Island, Waitaha Māori consider kea to be taonga and mountain guardians. This mischievous bird is attracted to people and their vehicles, and they frequently die on the open roads. One such accident is how the artist came upon this exquisitely variegated plumage. We celebrate Tāne Mahuta – the god of the forest – as the parent of all birds and creatures that dwell within the forest. This photograph, with its emphasis on the shimmering feathers of the kea bird emerging out of darkness into the world of light, sits as a metaphorical introduction to the realm of Te Ao Mārama.
- Davis Kea Wings (above)
- Production date
- pigment inkjet prints on paper
- 880 x 2360 x 65 mm
- Credit line
- Private collecton, Auckland
- Accession no
- Copying restrictions apply
- New Zealand Art
- Display status
- Not on display
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